HI! My name is Isabel Tom and I am the author of The Value of Wrinkles: A Young Perspective on How Loving the Old Will Change Your Live (March 2020, Northfield Publishers). I am a 30-something Chinese American Christian who has spent much of my life around older adults. I lived in the same house as my grandparents for 26 years and professionally, I have spent my entire career working in the aging field. Though living with my grandparents was not my based on my choice, God used these experiences to grow in me a big heart to serve the elderly population. Okay, enough with the talking, here’s the juice on me:
My Life with my Grandparents: As of January 2018, I am a retired grandchild (whose grandparents have gone to be with Jesus). My grandparents were always a huge part of my life. I lived my first 26 years under the same roof and only a wall separated our rooms. I was my grandfather’s favorite (you didn’t hear me say that) and my grandma was one of my best/oldest girlfriends. The thing I miss most about Mama is eating Cheetos, Doritos, nachos, and ice cream together. We had sweet times.
Professional Experience: My entire career of 13 years has been in the field of senior living and end-of-life care. And while it may sound drab or depressing to many people, I have been so blessed, convicted and grateful for the experiences and friendships I have made at every job. Check out a podcast episode I created for work called, “Isn’t It Depressing?” Here’s also one of my first blog posts on why I decided to work with the elderly first thing out of college.
How I Found Handsome: Oh yes, let’s get personal. My husband and I met in youth group during high school, and we were “good friends” (you know what I mean) until we started dating after college. When we took breaks because I wasn’t quite sure about our relationship, my grandma was on my case. She always liked him!! While I choose to work with the old, my husband is an amazing teacher working with the little ones. I’m clumsy; he’s far from it. We are both a bit odd and have a creative side to us. And we do like to have some fun. Did I mention he’s a great cook? I praise God for his grace on our marriage. Here’s to many more!
Other Things Old that I Love: I have always gotten giddy when people save me their hand-me-downs. I have a hard time putting down $10 for a new shirt. Let’s just be honest. I also have an addiction to checking out the “treasures” sitting on people’s curbs on trash day. I get a thrill (x 10000) when I hold off buying something new and then find it it for dirt cheap at a thrift store. OR even better get it for free because someone has moved on and bought something newer.
You’re a Mom?: Why, yes! I am a mom of three little ones and I praise God when I can steal time away to write. Don’t be deceived by happy pictures because most of the time, I am dead tired and pray to Jesus for more patience and energy to make it through the day. While I am so blessed to work part time, most of my hours are spent with boogers, cute faces, food all over the floor, just to name a few. The longer I mother, the more God humbles me to realize how little I know. This is the best advice I have for moms and dads.
My Go-to Activity When Motherhood Get Crazy: Motherhood cannot be described in one word. To me, it is both extremes, from the best and most amazing honor to the lowest most tiring job on earth. It all depends on the day. When I am stuck at home and feeling overwhelmed, it always is liberating for me to cut my own hair. I have no training!! Um, I’m not good at following step-by-step YouTube videos…and I have been advised by my cosmetologist-trained friend and salon people not to cut my hair several times. BUT I stillllll do it!! It helps me feel in control (since there are few things I can control now in life). Try it.=) You might get addicted.
Why did I Start Blogging?: When my peers ask me what I do, the response is often, “Oh… that must be so depressing” or “that must be so hard!” And that is how my blog started. With hopes of winning peers over. In reading my posts, my hope is that you would start to see the beauty, joy and honor it is to be able to love, serve and befriend the older people around you. Life is such a gift and I believe there is no time to be wasting.
What are Some of my Favorite Posts?: Oh, so nice of you to ask! Well, since you mentioned it, here are some posts worth checking out.
My favorite post about singlehood is here.
My favorite post on caring for the elderly is here.
My most popular post on what to talk to your grandparents about is here.
That’s it for now. Hope to see you regularly on my site. To God be the glory. For he has been so good and gracious to me!